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October 5, 2007

Reversible Knit Halloweenie Beanie



This pattern was created primarily because I thought it was funny. I know the world is full of knitters who inspire, or make lovely works of art, or create functional and useful items. I myself make stuff up because I think it is funny and has the potential to make me laugh while stuck in traffic, which is exactly how the Halloweenie Beanie got started.

Originally, I had planned to make a beanie from a pattern that my good friend Allison had written for Mission Falls Wool. But then I figured since I was using orange yarn, wouldn't it be just hee-larious to make a pumpkin hat? And try to figure out how to make a stem while we're at it? So she allowed me to modify it to be more pumpkin-like and share it with ya'll. Thanks, Allison!

Reversible Knit Halloweenie Beanie Recipe

Yarn: Mission Falls. I am using this amazing, soft superwash wool in orange and for the pumpkin's stem, I used a small amount of Lion Brand wool-ease in a pretty heathered green color. I had the green left over from a scarf I made a hundred years ago. This pattern took a little more than one skein of orange, and a very small amount of green.

I had only knit with Mission Falls wool once before and now I'm hooked -- it's soft and so pretty.

Needles: With my SupaTight Knitting Superpowers, I went up a recommended needle size and used a size 9 circular needle (16" circular) for most of the hat and switched to size 9 double-pointed needles when needed during decreasing. Normal knitters will want to use size 8 needles or else this hat will be way too big. For the pumpkin stem you'll need a set of size 10 or 10.5 straight needles.

My gauge: I'm getting 4 stitches to the inch on the beanie. The stem's gauge isn't crucial. It's ... a stem. You know. Organic and shiite.

Other tools: Stitch marker, crochet hook and large eye needle to finish and weave in ends. Cat helper, sense of humor and wine recommended but not necessary.

Things you may find useful when knitting this hat:
• The easy roll-brim hat pattern, the basis of all my hat recipes
Working with circular needles
• A little diatribe on decreasing stitches
• My regular ribbed-brim hat recipe

For the beanie:

1. On circular needles, cast on 88 stitches in orange yarn and join to knit in the round. Place stitch marker at start of round.

2. Knit 4, Purl 4 all the way around to create a ribbed edge. I did this for a little over an inch, or about five rows.

3. For the body, the hat is basically stockinette with a single rib every eight stitches. So you will Knit 7, Purl 1 all the way around for the entire body for until hat measures 6" from base, including rib.

4. The reason this hat is reversible is because when you begin decreasing, rather than knitting two stitches together (as I have in all my other hats) here I decided to Purl two stitches together, which creates a decrease ridge that perfectly lines up with the purl ridges on the reverse stockinette side of the hat:

You can also add a pompom if the curly stem is a tad much for you.

5. Start decreasing by knitting six stitches, purling two stiches together and repeat all the way around the row.

6. For all the remaining rows, you'll knit until you see that purl stitch coming -- you'll see it -- and then purl together the plain stitch before it plus the lone purl stitch, it looks like this:



Or if that's too confusing, just follow this:
Knit 6, P2 together
Knit 5, P2 together
Knit 4, P2 together
Knit 3, P2 together
Knit 2, P2 together

But I found this to be the easiest hat to decrease of all the hats I've made -- you don't need to count to know when to decrease, just look for that purl ridge in your stockinette and you're ready to decrease. Decreasing purlwise (fancypants way of saying "purl two together") is just as easy as decreasing the regular way and prepares you for the pumpkin's stem, which has a lot of freaking purling.

7. Switch to double points when there are too few stitches to fit around the circular needle.

8. Thread large eye needle through stitches and remove from needles. Stitch down through top of hat to secure and keep from unraveling. Finish and weave in ends.

Create the pumpkin's curlicue stem

1) Cast on 18 stitches -- I used a size 10.5 straight needle, you may want to use a size 10. CAST ON LOOSELY. SERIOUSLY.

2) Knit into the front, back and front again of each stitch before dropping it off the left needle. Read this entry for more detail on knitting into the front and back of a stitch. Just keep in mind that for this project, you knit each stitch three times -- once in front, once through the back loop, and finally through the front again. That's why it's muy importante to cast on loosely.

3) Bind off all stiches purlwise. That just means you bring your yarn to the front, purl the first stitch, purl the next stitch, then pass the first stitch over the second like a regular bind off. I find that binding off purlwise is a lot more time-consuming, but it's necessary for this project.

And voila! You have a stem!

This is an easy way to create a knitted curlicue, and I had plenty of help as you can see here:

People, do not make fun of my pajama pants. I have been sick and my fashion sense has been eclipsed by my snot problem. Sexy, eh?



I promise I won't look so waxy and dead when I meet you next week.
Really. Honest. WOULD THE UNDEAD LIE???

Happy Halloweenie Beanie!

Posted by laurie at October 5, 2007 6:29 AM